For people, who are in search of sorrowful doom metal music, Tristitia could be a good choice to listen to. Their music is a combination of doom metal with dark, atmospheric elements. Luis Galvez, the man behind Tristitia answered my questions.
Hello Luis! What are you doing these days? How is the summer in Sweden?
Iím doing fine thank you, sometimes up, sometimes down in a blackest hole but always climbing up again to write a new song. Sometimes I feel like a human elevator, goin' up and down in a building of thousend levels! I use to write songs when Iím in level 500 if you understand me. The summer is good here in Sweden like always, a lot of sun shine and a lot of rainin' and a lot of tourists spendin' money, specially here in my hometown, there been always a lot of people from Europe specially and specially from Germany visiting the west coast of Sweden! But now will the autumn soon enter and Iíll enjoy it very much, darker mood to write darker music!
This year you released a new album: Garden Of Darkness. What responses did you get so far? It seemed to me, that Tristitia is pretty much ignored by the metal media...am I right?
The response has been very good, better than The Last Grief, but I knew that cause I knew the fans like the vocals in the new album much better, the songs are much better and itís better produced. I think there are a lot of metalheads who know about us from the first and second album when we used to be in a lot of metal mags but then we were not a whole band, I had to find a new singer so some years went between the other albums so maybe thatís the reason, but also that gothic doom metal is not the biggest style among listeners, specially underground bands.
What can you tell me about Garden Of Darkness? It took a long time to wrote the new songs? Usually are you working hard on every detail of a song?
Yes, it took me a lot of time to write the new one, but it was worth it, itís my darkest record Iíve ever done so far and I worked with very hard until all details were ok, I donít want to release anything until everything feels right. It was recorded here in my hometown, itís a concept album as The Last Grief, it starts where The Last Grief ended.
There have been talks about you using again Thomas, the original vocalist of Tristitia on this new album. Why didn't you suceed doing that? Why did he leave the band?
He has other bands that he sings with Pagan Rites, Autopsy Torment and Devil Lee Rot and itís goin very well for him, he left the band after Crucidiction cause he wanted to do something else, he was interested in singin' again but had a lot to do with his bands and I couldnít wait for him so I used another one instead, but weíll see in the future, itís not impossible he sings again for Tristitia.
You always dealed with 'band member' problems. Why is that so? Who are the members of the band right now? What should we know about Stefan, the new vocalist? Is he a full-time member?
Yes, always trouble in findin' suitable musicians for Tristitia, I donít know why, maybe the musicians here where I live donít like the style of Tristitia. For the moment itís only me again, the singer is session but itís no trouble in using him again, I have known him for a long time, he used to sing in a power metal band I had back in the 80ís, he sings also for a power metal band now and have two demos out, Tristitia is his biggest project.
Are you familiar with the doom metal scene of our days? Who are the really great bands in your opinion? Do you like the so called stoner doom bands like Spiritual Beggars, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, or you prefer just the darker style of doom metal?
Not much, I do still listen to Candlemass, Krux is also great from the bassist and have known now a band from Germany called Doomshine wich I think itís the best Iíve heard for a long time but I think they are still in the demo scene and thatís very strange cause they are great! I like Kyuss and Las Cruces, otherwise Iím not really into stoner doom, Iím really into darker style.
Many Swedish bands have a dark tone and a doom feeling in their music, probably influenced by the cult band Candlemass. Tad Morose, Morgana Lefay, Tristitia, Memory Garden are just a few examples in my opinion. Whats your viewpoint...?
Yes, many bands from here sounds like you mention, influenced from many dark bands around but what it depends on itís more difficult to say, more difficult to point the finger on it.
The whole doom metal scene is ignored by the metal fans and the media. I guess doom metal bands cannot be marketed. What's your opinion concearning this subject?
I donít think doom metal bands will ever be that big as metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest cause the music is very epic and mighty some how and that suits not to everybody as we notice.
How did you reached to play doom metal? Who were your influences (not just musically)?
I find a lot of sadness and darkness in doom metal music, bands like Black Sabbath and Candlemass really made me get into this style, When I first heard Samarithan and At the Gallows End with Candlemass I knew at once what kind of music really touches me inside.
You began to play guitar from a very fragile age and you have a great experience. What makes a musician really good? How does a musician reach a professional level?
I think I was 14 or 15 when begun to play and now almost 40 so Iíve been around for a while but never went to lessons so my playing is not the best and to be really good you have to have lessons and play very hard and motivated but I think Iím too lazy for that but Iím pleased how I play.
The lyrics of the first two albums were really anti christianic ones. What's the problem with the christianic doctrine? What about other religions?
I donít write religious lyrics anymore, I find it boring and I donít know anything about other religions so thereís no point to talk about something I donít know about. When I wrote those lyrics in the first two albums it was just for the darkness I see in profane lyrics.
Have you been baptised? Have you been raised in a christianic spirit?
Iíve never been baptised and Iím totally unreligious, I only believe in myself and my music.
I understand that you really don't like this catholic, clerical stuff. But it seemed to me that some of the melodies of your songs were influenced by gregorian chants and other "temple choirs". Am I wrong here, or you listen to this kind of music?
I find a very dark atmosphere in monastic choir music, I donít listen to it but sometimes when I do it can happens I find somethin dark and gloomy in that ancient stuff.
On the first album there is a song called "Adagio 1809". What is the significance of that year? It's a historical date, or something else perhaps...?
To be honest I donít remember! I know Adagio means in classical guitar terms a kind of style of a composition but the year I donít remember! I think I just took the birth day from a composer who plays in the same vein as I do in that track, but I also think it just was the number for our mailbox, but backwards.
Your music has a really dark medieval feeling, the lyrics are dealing with themes, like cardinal sins, burning witches, and so on... Are you deep interested in the medieval age?
Oh yes! I find that age very interesting, for shure Iíll write more stuff in that vein, I collect swords and axes from that age, donít have many, but when I find something from that age I buy it at once! I have an aside band called Darkstone wich goes in totally medieval style, the music is power war metal with lot of riffin and double drums, check it out at www.angelfire.com/falcon/darkstonerage
I have one demo out and the second is on the way and itís totally different in what I do in Tristitia.
Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? There is a scene, when peoples wearing black mantles and masks are participating at a ritual and a priest is singing a very dark theme. His voice is very similar to Thomas' voice, especially with his themes on Crucidiction.
No, I havenít seen that movie but I know what you mean, Thomas gave the half style to the music in Tristitia, a very dark gothic atmospheric style.
Do you enjoy watching movies, reading books? Do you have any favourites?
I donít read books , I have one though, itís called The Death of Time and itís a science fiction one but I do watch movies with lot of action, my faves are the Alien movies and the Terminator movies.
The music of Tristitia is a really sad, mournful one and the lyrics goes on the same way. What inspires you to write such sorrowful music? What kind of person is the man behind Tristitia? What are you doing beside Tristitia?
I always been into sorrowful stuff as long I can remember, thatís the way Iím, I donít need any inspiration to do this kind of music, but ok, if I feel sad or something it really helps to do a song or write a lyric. Beside Tristitia I have other projects I want to do, some instrumental guitar stuff specially.
What do you think about death? It's really the end, or is just a beginning? Do you believe in any kind of afterlife?
I just live for the day and when I go to sleep I know Iíll wake up to face another day and if I donít I hope to wake up somewhere else where there are no shit people, bills, ugly women, bad weather or anything that makes you sick.
I understand that you have chilean roots. How do you ended to live in Sweden?
My parents had to move from Chile back in '74 cause it was a lot of war down there and we couldnít live there anymore so we left for Sweden.
What's the first thing that enters your head, when you are hearing the word doom?
Slow, Dark music with a lot of candles and a priest in a church or cemetary in funeral mandane.
What are your 5 - all time - favourite albums?
1. Kiss - Destroyer
2. Iron Maiden - first
3. Slayer - Reign in Blood
4. Manowar - Into Glory Ride
5. Slipknot - Iowa
How did you picked up this name - Tristitia?
The bassist who played in the first demo Winds of Sacrifice back in '93 came with the name wich means sadness in the latin language and it matched the style of music I wanted to play perfectly.
What are the future plans with Tristitia? Do you have some new material maybe?
To write new material for a fifth release and to get a suitable line up to play live and I do have some new material and ideas I have to work with to make an even more darker album.
Thats all for the moment. Thank you for accepting to make this interview, I wish you the best. Do you have any message for the doomophils?
Enter my Garden of Darkness and enjoy the musical journey through the paths and I hope you find one path which takes you away from reality at least for some minutes.
by Robert Sun